She’s here! Baby girl was born May 30, 2012 at 8:28 AM. She was 42w0d gestation at that point, so she really waited until the last minute! She’s beautiful and healthy and perfect. She weight 8lb 3oz at birth and was 19.25 inches.
I’m sorry I’ve been a bad blogger as of late. Getting used to a newborn is tiring! I’ve also been processing my birth story, which I will share later. In many ways I don’t feel like I did a good job with baby girl’s birth, and that’s been hard. I had killer back labor which totally kicked my butt. But I did manage to have the out of hospital birth I wanted, and I’ve been focusing on reasons I am so grateful for that. It may not have been completely ideal, but it was so much better than the alternative. Some ways in which baby girl’s birth and first weeks would have been different if we had been in a hospital:
- I would have almost certainly been induced medically 1-2 weeks before I ended up giving birth. Most OBs don’t want you to go past 41 weeks, and if you count from my last period instead of my conception date, as many doctors want to, I may well have been pushed to induce at 40 weeks actual gestation (since going by my period that would have been 41 weeks). This means
- I would have had to stay in bed. Being in bed was the most excruciating thing I could do in labor.
- I would have had to be continuously monitored. Baby girl HATES those monitors and squirms every time you put one on her, which was very uncomfortable during labor
- I would likely have ended up with a c-section. The morning I went into labor I was not dilated AT. ALL. A week or two prior my cervix and body would have been in no way ready for labor. There’s a good chance the induction would not have “taken”. And since induction roughly doubles your chance of c-section anyway, and the national average c-section rate is 1/3 women anyway, I’m thinking my c-section odds were pretty dang high.
- I may also have had to fight a c-section for “big baby.” At my biophysical profile at 41.5 weeks the ultrasound estimated baby girl as being 9-10 pounds. They settled on 9lb9oz. Clearly that was off (by a pound and a half). But I’m short and that’s big and in the OB model it may have been determined she wouldn’t fit.
- I would have gotten an epidural. There is no way I wouldn’t have. My back labor was HARD. If I had had an epidural available and right there I would have taken it. No doubt. And then I would have wondered how it affected everything else.
- Baby girl would be on formula. Baby girl lost about 13% of her body weight in the days after birth. The hospital cutoff is 10%, at that point they put the baby on formula, end of story. My midwives decided to give my milk a chance to come in because baby girl’s color was good, she was extremely active and healthy by all measures except the scale. She nursed like crazy for days, and when my milk came in it came in full force. I’m not sure if it would have done that if she hadn’t been wanting to nurse so much because she was getting formula. I’m not sure I would have kept up with breastfeeding if I was in the formula routine.
- My placenta would have been manually extracted. Even my midwife was about to manually extract my placenta when she saw something that made her have me try to push it out one more time and, thank god, it came. It really needed to come out and didn’t want to. No way a doctor would have waited the 45 minutes my midwife did. (If you don’t know what manual extraction is…be grateful.)
- The moments after baby girl’s birth would have been full of stress and anxiety. I bled a lot after her birth. A LOT. I got loopy. But my midwife took care of it extremely competently while still staying calm and in control so I didn’t realize how serious things were until after and I got to enjoy those first minutes.
- I may not have gotten to hold my baby until she was a burrito. There was meconium in her water so there would have been a whole extra team of people panicking and likely whisking her away for unnecessary deep suctioning before I could even see her once she was born.
- I may well have had vacuum or forceps delivery if I’d gotten that far. I pushed for an hour and a half to get baby girl out, and I was exhausted. She was doing fantastic through the whole thing, but it was a slow process. Someone who isn’t used to a tired mom whose been working the whole time and doesn’t have the patience and trust to let the process happen may well have declared me too tired to get her out on my own. This would have led to much harder healing from an episiotomy, since I barely had a tear at all.
My birth was hard. I remember thinking I didn’t know if I’d go natural again. But when I compare it to the alternative, for me, I think out of hospital was the right decision.